Master of Malt Update – New Origin Gins, Old Tom, Cask Gin and 7 Dials Gin

mOmtITLEDEC2012

Yesterday, we looked at Master of Malt’s Cream Gin, which easily deserved its own article, and I mentioned that it would be my penultimate post on the products of Master of Malt for the year. This here is the final one, which will be a bit of a round-robin.

We kick off with Origin Gin, an innovative project launched in July at the Juniper Society’s 2nd Birthday that has been touted by many gin pundits as one of the most exciting gin launches of the year.

Each of the following gins are made in small batches using juniper berries sourced from very specific geographic regions, thereby highlighting the difference that different sources of juniper can make to a gin. They are sold as single-botanical gins (or juniper distillates), but are delivered with a separate small bottle of distillate of other botanicals, which you are free to add (or not), as you choose. I tasted each both on their own and with the additional distillate.

A Map Showing the Sources of the Origin Junipers

A Map Showing the Sources of the Origin Junipers

Master of Malt Origin KosovoOrigin Istog, Kosovo

i) Juniper
Nose: A light nose of green juniper.
Taste: A real juiciness upfront, followed by pine, a little heat and then a dry finish with a hint of anise.

ii) Mixed with other Botanicals
Nose: Deeper notes of pine, plus coriander, too.
Taste: Juniper, then some salt and pepper, followed by coriander, citrus, anise and a hint of cardamom.

On this occasion, I think that the mixed version is more to my taste than the juniper distillate on its own.

Master of Malt Origin CroatiaOrigin Klanac, Croatia

i) Juniper
Nose: Rich, green leaves and pine needles, with a hint of citrus and vanilla.
Taste: Very smooth and clean. The juniper is there, but in a much lighter form, with a little warmth at the end, as well as some vanilla and spice. The finish is long and spicy.

ii) Mixed with other Botanicals
Nose: Vanilla and nutmeg.
Taste: Very warm and spicy; the additional botanicals make an amazing difference and it’s interesting how they bring out some of the more subtle spice and vanilla notes in the original distillate. A good illustration of the Origin project.
Master of Malt Origin MacedoniaOrigin Skopje, Macedonia

i) Juniper
Nose: Slightly sweet, with green leaves and a few, light floral notes.
Taste: Fruity, with green pine mixed in, too, and a very slight floral note. Very succulent, for a single-botanical gin.

ii) Mixed with other Botanicals
Nose: Pine mainly, along with some more savoury notes.
Taste: Quite succulent (juicy – almost in the way a steak is!), with a little saltiness and then juniper interwoven with the cardamon and other spice notes – good potential for use in a toddy.

Moving swiftly on, we take a look at:

Master of Malt SevenDialsGinSeven Dials Gin

This product made to the specification of the London Gin Club / The Star at Night, who we visited here.

Nose: Pine, with coriander and a slight floral hint.
Taste: Zesty to start, with a good dose of spicy cardamom then some coriander and juniper. This is quite an intense gin with a lot going on, but, at the same time, is easy to drink. Pleasantly, this brings something new to the table, which is becoming increasingly difficult.

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Finally, here are some Master of Malt gins that I have been remiss with the tardiness of my reviews:

Master of Malt OldTomGinMaster of Malt Old Tom Gin
Building upon their [Bathtub Gin], Master of Malt have gone down the sugar-sweetened route (a more than acceptable choice in my opinion).

Nose: Cinnamon, warming spice and some inviting sweetness and coriander.
Taste: Quite pungent botanically, with dry, piney juniper upfront. Then there’s notable notes of spicy, slightly soapy coriander, some warmth and some sweetness that are followed by the Christmas spices of cinnamon and nutmeg and then more sweetness. It’s very warming from the alcohol, but doesn’t burn. It has a medium-length finish of cilantro.

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Master of Malt CaskAgedGinMaster of Malt Cask Aged Gin
Carrying on the stirling work of the like of Haymans 1850 and Citadelle Reserve, Master of Malt also released a cask-aged gin, marrying the two aspects of gin and wood rather well. This method of flavouring gin also has growing popularity in the US. Of course, it is worth noting that Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin (the best selling gin in the US) is rested in wood before bottling.

Nose: Very pleasant: some spicy elements that remind me of cinnamon swirls are accompanied by both a little sweetness and some dry juniper and citrus.
Taste: Soft to start, with an initial sweetness that’s followed by an oaky vanilla note that reminds me a lot of whiskey. This is very, very flavourful, with some darker woody notes in the middle. The finish is very dry, with a hint of black liquorice, some warmth from the alcohol and a touch of spice.

So that wraps up a year of creations by Master of Malt – who knows what 2013 will bring?

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This entry was posted in Vintage Cocktails and tagged , , by DTS. Bookmark the permalink.

About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… www.summerfruitcup.com Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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